A decision on a contentious wind farm project may still be a month away.
The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust was given a hearing for its right of reply at the Dunedin Municipal Chambers yesterday.
The trust had proposed building three wind turbines at a cost of $5million to $6million on Porteous Hill, north of Dunedin.
The proposal has drawn fierce opposition from nearby neighbours and equally vociferous support from others in the district.
At the end of the hearing, Commissioner Colin Weatherall signalled his intent to carry out additional site visits before making his final decision.
He also indicated he was visiting Wellington later this month and might take the opportunity to view wind farm projects in the area.
He had “plenty of information to consider” and would take some time to make his final decision on the proposal.
He told neighbours of the proposed site he would make a decision by late this month or in early July.
“There should be nothing taken from my questions and answers today to indicate my thinking,” he said to those in opposition.
“I have a very open mind.
“It’s not easy to go one way or the other.”
Trust counsel Bridget Irving said, during the right of reply, the trust had addressed the concerns of neighbours and there was no reason for the proposal not to proceed.
“A failure to do so would be a triumph of personal interest over the greater good, allowing this generation to continue to turn a blind eye to the risks posed by our activities for future generations,” she said.
The only negative effects of the proposal were some “moderate to significant” visual effects for immediate neighbours, she said.
Yesterday’s hearing followed three days of evidence last month after which the Dunedin City Council’s planner Daryl Sycamore recommended declining consent.
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